Privatisation for sake of it

I rely on the postal service to do my job. When a group of local postmen came to Westminster to tell me their fears about Royal Mail privatisation I took their concerns seriously.

Yet the government seems intent on ploughing on with the sell off.

Privatisation of the Royal Mail is opposed by two-thirds of the public.

Royal Mail employees, despite being offered ten per cent of the shares for free, rejected the plan, in a ballot by nearly 20 to one.

At stake is the universal postal service guarantee and the historic links between Royal Mail and the Post Office. People value the six-day a week universal service, but it is expensive to provide.

As technology changes we know the problem. More than 25 per cent of post has disappeared with the growing use of email. But it’s possible to have modernisation without privatisation.

Ministers go out of their way to praise the constructive efforts of the Communication Workers Union but still insist on opening up Royal Mail to the market. Bizarrely having taken on the pension liabilities the government is seeking now to privatise the profit. And at £403m last year there is already a profit.

A more likely explanation is that the government is seeking an early sell off because it needs the money to pay off government borrowing which is rising instead of falling.

I get the feeling that this is privatisation for the sake of it.